Our children’s mental health

Our children’s mental health, InfoMistico.com

In a world of ceaseless flux, our children are facing a deluge of psychological challenges. Victoria Prooday, a renowned occupational therapist, unravels a silent tragedy that is eroding the mental health of our young ones.

Child Mental Health in Crisis

How Victoria Prooday, Occupational Therapist, Unveils the Silent Tragedy Affecting Children in a Changing World and Guides Parents Towards Solutions

This article delves into the alarming statistics and insightful observations by Prooday, focusing on how parents can be part of the solution.

Seemingly, the reality is unequivocal. Existence is inexorably transforming and children find themselves engulfed in an ever-increasing whirlwind of psychological turmoil.

The Silent Tragedy Relentlessly Assaulting the Mental Health of Our Offspring

The paramount objective of this article is to unreservedly expose the existence of a “silent tragedy” that is stealthily tearing apart the emotional and mental health of our offspring – a tragedy for which parents and guardians are, regrettably, both contributors and accountable.

To bolster this compelling assertion, the therapist resorts to a body of data emerging from a plethora of academic studies released in recent years:

  1. One in five children suffers from mental health disorders.
  2. There has been a 43% increase in the incidence of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
  3. There has been a 37% rise in cases of adolescent depression.
  4. A chilling 200% increase in the suicide rate among children aged 10 to 14 has been observed.

Regarding the underlying causes of this surge in alarming numbers, therapist Victoria Prooday does not waver in pointing to parents and their behavior towards children as the principal architects of this lamentable situation.

As she astutely states, “Contemporary children are being inundated with stimuli, lavishly showered with material goods, yet are cruelly deprived of the essential pillars for a healthy childhood.”

Among these pillars, Prooday mentions “parents’ emotional availability, the setting of clear boundaries, the delegation of responsibilities and the promotion of balanced nutrition and sleep.”

Parents Absorbed in Cyberspace

What is found instead are “parents absorbed in the digital maelstrom, indulgent caregivers who allow children to wield despotic dominion, dictating rules, alongside a detrimental sense of entitlement, of considering themselves deserving of everything without having earned it or assuming the responsibility of attaining it, coupled with inadequate sleep and imbalanced nutrition.”

In sum, the pedagogy we are imparting to our offspring is not conducive to their mental and emotional flourishing. In the face of this landscape and according to the therapist’s perspective, there remains a glimmer of hope, a window through which we can marshal our faculties and undertake redemptive actions.

What Steps Can We Take to Forge Happy and Healthy Beings?

As the astute Victoria Prooday maintains, these are the most accurate recommendations which, upon implementation, we will invariably observe significant improvements…

Set boundaries and do not forget that you are the helmsman of the ship. Your children will find security in knowing that you are firmly steering the wheel. Provide the young ones with a balanced lifestyle, replete with what they genuinely NEED, not merely what they DESIRE. Do not fear to utter a resounding “no” if what they crave is not what they require.

Provide nutritional food and limit the consumption of unhealthy edibles. Dedicate at least one hour daily to enjoying the outdoors, engaging in activities such as cycling, hiking, fishing, or bird and insect watching. Indulge in a daily family dinner, free from smartphones or other technological gadgets that might distract.

Engage in family board games; if your children are still too young for such games, let their interests guide the entertainment and allow them to take the lead. Involve your children in age-appropriate chores or tasks (folding clothes, organizing toys, hanging garments, putting away groceries, setting the table, feeding the dog, etc.).

Promoting Healthy Sleep, Instilling Independence and Cultivating Social Skills Without Technology

Implement a solid and consistent sleep regimen to ensure your child is well-rested. Schedules are of utmost importance for school-age children. Instill responsibility and independence. Do not over-protect them from frustrations or mistakes. Failures will help them build resilience and learn to overcome life’s hurdles.

Do not carry your children’s backpacks, do not bring them the homework they forgot and do not peel bananas or oranges for them if they are capable of doing it themselves (4-5 years). Instead of handing them the fish, instruct them in the art of fishing. Teach them the virtue of patience and the art of delaying gratification. Provide opportunities for “leisure,” as it is in apparent monotony that creativity emerges. Do not feel compelled to keep the children perpetually entertained.

Do not resort to technology as an antidote to boredom, nor offer it at the first moment of inactivity. Avoid the use of technological devices during meals, in vehicles, restaurants and shopping centers. Utilize these moments as opportunities to cultivate social skills, training their minds to deal with moments of “leisure.”

Creating a ‘Boredom Jar,’ Fostering Emotional Bonds and Teaching Self-Regulation and Manners to Children

Assist in the creation of a “boredom jar” filled with ideas for activities when they feel devoid of entertainment. Be emotionally available to forge bonds with the children and teach them self-regulation and social skills: turn off the phones at night when the children must go to bed, to avoid digital distractions.

Transcend and become an emotional guide or coach for your children. Teach them to recognize and manage their own frustrations and anger. Instruct them in basic manners: greeting, taking turns, sharing without detriment, expressing gratitude and politeness, acknowledging mistakes and apologizing (do not force them) and be a beacon radiating those values you instill. Connect emotionally: smile, hug, kiss, tickle, read, dance, jump, play or crawl with them.

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